Hyundai i10

Hyundai has a lovely new baby in its fleet, the i10.

The 'tiny on the outside' city car is surprisingly spacious on the inside with seating for five! The best news about the new one-litre arrival is the asking price, starting at just €11,995 for the i10 'Classic'.

i10's exterior styling is cute and modern. In fact, the European-styled machine could easily wear a Ford or Renault badge without causing heads to turn.

i10 was designed for European tastes, and this can be clearly seen in the 'flesh'. Head-on, the little i10 looks very smart, with big headlight clusters. On higher specified cars there are LED running lights, front fogs and even 'cornering lights'. i10 has a very handsome contemporary grille, too. Side-on, you can see hints of Renault with the low-set body mouldings (Deluxe). The rear is curvy and well-proportioned.

Inside, the cabin is big and clever. There is an additional 40mm of legroom and increased shoulder room. The dash features really nice two-tone plastics - it looks and feels better than you'd expect at this price.

For €13,495 the Deluxe specification gets a whole load of kit above the i10's standard ABS, ESP, tyre pressure monitoring system and seat belt reminder, such as alloys, air-con, steering wheel-mounted controls for the stereo and Bluetooth phone, to name a few.

USB and Aux connectivity are neatly housed in a closable cubby in front of the five-speed gear lever. The 252-litre boot houses a space-saver spare wheel under the floor. Three grades are available: Classic, Deluxe and Premium.

Under the bonnet the Irish market gets an eager 998cc, three-cylinder petrol engine. It pushes out 66hp and 95nm of torque, which is ample about town and sufficient power for use on the open road. i10 can haul the five-door machine along the motorway without too much effort.

i10 has a tiny turning circle, making parking effortless. Fuel consumption is modest: Hyundai quotes a combined figure of 4.7 litres per 100km and 6.0 for the automatic version. i10 falls into tax band 'A3' ('B2' for the automatic).

At Motors we love cars that deliver more than their price tag suggests, and i10 does just that. i10 is now right up there, hot on the heels of one of our favourite machines, the four-seat Volkswagen up! (and its sister cars Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo).

It is worth noting that the three-cylinder German town car, when launched, was the first in its class to feature the brilliant safety feature 'City Brake Function' as standard. But while this feature may not be available with the new Hyundai, the i10 holds the seating capacity trump card (and it has a better warranty). Our test car often carried three school kids in the back with little complaint. As with all Hyundais, there is an excellent five-year, unlimited mileage warranty with breakdown cover.

Korean brand Hyundai is a massive global player, and it comes as no surprise that the latest i10 is a super little machine. For many families needing to downsize, the i10's three safety belts in the rear will be a big plus, as most town/city cars have just two. Hyundai Ireland expects to sell 500 this year.

With i10, pint-sized motoring makes a lot of sense.

Michael Sheridan


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